Sunday, February 23, 2014

Alla Prima Self-Portraits...Again

I paint directly without drawing on the panel

Color notes start right away

Massing the shadows, massing the lights, and testing the value range

Thinking planes 
My daughter showed up for lunch, and she took this picture with her iPhone 

I have battled curly hair my whole life.  Normally, I wrestle it into submission with hair clips and a flat iron, and it looks pretty respectable.  However, neat hair makes for mundane  painting.  So, for the last couple of days, I have let the curls win and painted some fun self-portraits.  

To make this one more interesting, I tied a ribbon around my head and set the bow at a jaunty angle.  Corny, but effective.  I placed the mirror (I paint looking in the mirror) by the easel, and the skylight illuminated one half of my face.  The curly bangs formed a nice cast shadow across my forehead.  

Here I am looking in the mirror...ready to start

Alla prima demands quick decisions.  It allows me the freedom to react, build, change, and enhance the painting as I move along.  It is drawing with the brush, and the head emerges out of the background and into the background creating depth and mystery.  This painting is on a small gessoed panel (9"x6") that has a gray tone.   

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